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On-Time Policy

Starting an assignment close to the deadline significantly increases the risk of incurring late penalities. You must use due diligence in doing your work in this course.

I simply will not tolerate (or believe) excuses--recent research shows students lie most of the time when giving an excuse for a late assignment. (See: "Procrastination in College Students Is a Marker for Unhealthy Behaviors, Study Indicates" and "Procrastinators get poorer grades in college class, study finds.")

Therefore, prepare and try to turn in the assignment at least 48 hours before the deadline given on the syllabus and check for a receipt from me to make sure that I received your assignment before you consider the assignment done--remember "It's not complete until you get your receipt!" In all cases, students assume sole responsiblity for all late penalities.

A firm on-time policy is the only fair way to have deadlines for assignments and treat all students the same. Because this is such a short class, turning in assignments on time is essential to your ability to move on to the next topic of the course and accomplish all course objectives.

A firm on-time policy is also essential for the instructor to efficiently grade assignments. The administrative costs required if all students had the right to negotiate their own custom deadline for turning in assignments would be prohibitive.

Your assignment is due by the time listed on the syllabus. The time your assignment is turned in is when you send your email. Don't try to forge the time when you send the email. It is perfectly ok to turn in assignments early.

You will lose points for turning in your assignment late. For each minute you turn in your assignment late, you will lose 1% of your grade, but only accumulating late penalties of a maximum of 33% per day.

In the following chart, D is the due time of the assignment as listed on the syllabus.

Graph showing late penalty versus time late

You will get a receipt after you send your assignment. Check your email for this receipt. If you don't get one before the deadline, send your assignment again. The first version of the assignment received will be the one that gets graded.

Don't let this happen to you!

Andrew thinks he turned in assignment #3, but never receives a grade. On his final grade report for the class, he notices he has a 0 for assignment #3. He is disappointed because he felt he could have done the assignment. Moral of the story: he should have checked for a receipt before the deadline. When he did not get a receipt and then a grade, he should have known something was wrong.

Mary starts her assignment at 6:00 pm on the day the assignment is due at 10:00 pm. She runs into problems logging into her account and asks a consultant in the computer lab for help. The consultant tells her that she has to wait overnight for her account to "reset." So she assumes she has no responsibility to turn in the assignment. She turns it in the next day and gets the late penalty. Moral of the story: if you are unfamiliar with your account or email system, do not start the assignment close to the deadline; also, don't look for excuses for not taking the resonsibility to do your assignment on time.

Chris sends in his assignment, but it turns out the message body is blank. The instructor writes back before the deadline with the message--"received blank email--please re-send," but Chris does not see this until the next day, so he turns in the assignment and gets a late penalty. Moral of the story: check for the receipt before the deadline to make sure your assignment got through.

The purpose of this late penalty formula is to provide some time as a buffer to turn in your assignment, so that if you turn it in a few minutes late, you suffer no great penalty. I would advise that you do not use this 33 minute buffer time per day as time to work on your assignment--you are losing 1% of your grade per minute.

You are reponsible for turning in the assignment on time, no matter what.

For example, the following situations are no excuse for lateness:

  1. Dog ate your homework;
  2. Failing any aspect of due diligence;
  3. You improperly type in my email address;
  4. The university computers are down;
  5. The course material Web site is down (use the alternate site listed on the syllabus);
  6. The help you sought from the consultants or me did not get to you on time to complete the assignment;
  7. You forget your login;
  8. You accidentally delete all your files;
  9. You are stranded in snowstorm;
  10. You are stranded in rainstorm;
  11. You are stranded in windstorm;
  12. You have problems logging in;
  13. Your schedule, workload, emotional life, personal life;
  14. The schedule, workload, emotional life, or personal life of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow students, teachers, or anyone else;
  15. You or your spouse give birth;
  16. Your files are destroyed;
  17. Problems sending email;
  18. Server down;
  19. Electrical failure;
  20. Computer down;
  21. Bridge out;
  22. Acts of God,
  23. Nuclear hazard;
  24. Biological hazard;
  25. Chemical hazard;
  26. Mechanical or machinery breakdown or failure;
  27. Faulty construction;
  28. Error, omission or deficiency in design, specifications, materials, or workmanship;
  29. Any change in electric power supply;
  30. Lightning;
  31. Short circuit, blowout or other electrical disturbance;
  32. Disturbance or erasure of electronic data;
  33. Delay, loss of market, loss of use or interruption of business;
  34. Loss of any nature;
  35. Error in machine programming or instructions to the machine;
  36. Wear and tear, scratching, deterioration, inherent vice;
  37. Insects or vermin;
  38. Animals bothering you (for example: cats or badgers);
  39. War, or any consequences of war;
  40. Undeclared war, civil war, insurrection, rebellion or revolution;
  41. Warlike act by a military force of military personnel;
  42. Destruction, seizure or use for a military purpose;
  43. Discharge of a nuclear weapon, even if accidental;
  44. Terrorist acts--foreign or domestic.

This means that your assignment is considered late if it does not get arrive via email on time for any reason listed above.

I will use discretion for exceptions, but please do not ask for an exception to the late rule because of problems you encountered when starting the assignment close to the deadline or for any of the reasons listed above. Every one of the assignments may lead to complications and problems for you--anticipating and solving these problems within the time given is the learning value of the assignment. However, don't spin your wheels--ask a question via email if you are not making progress.

An exception on the deadline is when classes are officially cancelled on a day of the deadline. In such case, the deadline is delayed until the next day at the same time. For example, if classes are cancelled on a day when an assignment is due at 10:00 pm, the cancellation of classes moves the deadline to the following day at 10:00 pm. Note that this shift only occurs for classes cancelled on the day of the deadline.

The key is to avoid working too close to the deadline. Anticipate potential problems and have alternate strategies to turn in your assignment. Please note the alternative Web site I have for course materials (syllabus) in case my Web site goes down. Backup your work, keep copies of email you send and the assignment receipt you get. You can re-send your assignment if you don't get a receipt before the deadline.

Remember, you can avoid all late penalties by turning in your assignment early.

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2017-05-16 · John December · Contact · Terms of Use © December Communications, Inc.